In the Indian Ocean, China has made the bet to make Mauritius its financial platform to Africa, thus creating a trilateral cooperation. From now on, Morocco adopts this posture in the economic field.
“The relations of partnership between Morocco and China, characterized by a positive evolution and a strong dynamic, are called to focus on triangular projects involving the triptych China-Morocco-Africa”, said Fathallah Oualalou, former Moroccan Minister of Economy and Finance.
For the latter, “Morocco and China are called to work on a number of triangular projects with the aim of moving towards economic development projects in African countries in a spirit of triangular partnership”.
In an interview, Fathallah Oualalou points out the role that Morocco can play within the African continent as part of this triangular cooperation.
For him, bilateral relations are constantly evolving and Sino-Moroccan cooperation is taking on an unprecedented scale. In 1971, Morocco strongly supported the process of restoring China’s seat at the United Nations.
In 1975, China sent its first medical team to Morocco. In 2009, the first Confucius Institute was officially opened at Mohammed V University. Finally, in May 2016, King Mohammed VI went to China for a diplomatic visit.
According to Chinese Ambassador to Morocco Li Li, since the visa exemption granted to Chinese citizens by Morocco, the number of Chinese tourists to Morocco has increased from 43,000 in 2016 to 120,000 in 2017 and is expected to reach 200,000 in 2019.
On the economic front, China is Morocco’s third largest trading partner. In 2017, the volume of bilateral trade between China and Morocco was $ 3.83 billion (€ 3.4 billion), an increase of 5.3% year-on-year.
In 2017, Morocco joined the Belt and Road Initiative. The following year, there was the celebration of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, an opportunity to emphasize that Morocco was among the first countries to recognize the People’s Republic of China. These bilateral relations will consolidate further with the year of Morocco in China in 2020. “So things are moving forward,” he said.
Asked about the Belt and Road Initiative, Fathallah Oualalou said that “this initiative is important historically” because it “concerns us because it covers infrastructure, rail and sea routes”.
For the former minister, Morocco’s accession to this initiative will make it possible to establish multilateral partnerships in promising economic sectors. Moreover, in his book, “China and Us … Responding to the Second Passage”, he analyzes the miracle accomplished by China in a third of a century and its prospects.